I’ve never written a political opinion piece before, but the issue at hand goes way beyond politics, so please forgive my rant. What’s my point?
Character matters. A lot. When leaders of low character are in charge, there’s only one way any organization (or country) can go.
Case study: Donald Trump. If Mr. Trump and I agreed on every single issue, I still couldn’t vote for him. He hasn’t demonstrated any character traits that I look for in a leader. Character always trumps issues (no pun intended).
I’m sure someone defends his character, but I don’t see how. So why does he have so many followers? I have a theory about that…
I’m not comparing Trump to Hitler’s as some have done, but watching how people align themselves with Trump gives me insight into the mindset that might cause people to follow leaders like Hitler, Pol Pot, or Stalin. It’s not that they like the leader, but they believe any radical change will be better than the status quo. I suspect many people aren’t voting for Trump as much as they are voting for radical change. That’s an understandable but dangerous path.
Lack of character has led to the downfall of the two-party system as an effective democratic mechanism. Party loyalty is now more important than finding the best solutions for America. It should not be so difficult to recognize a good idea just because it came from across the aisle. Politicians represent their party more than their people.
And while I’m on my rant, ignoring character has created a media machine that doesn’t seriously attempt to be unbiased. News organizations and journalists are motivated to create drama and promote agendas rather than discover truth – unless the truth creates drama or promotes their agenda. Instigative journalism has replaced investigative journalism.
Where does this lead? Never in history has a world power retained that status forever. Why, besides blind patriotism, would we expect America to be the first? Political, economic, and moral indicators all suggest the decline of America is well under way. That’s no surprise — Biblical end times prophecy mentions other nations but not America. That only makes sense if we’re not a superpower.
Enough doom and gloom. Whether America has a bright future or not isn’t what drives my hope and joy. I’m a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Whether I live in prosperity or suffering may change my momentary happiness but not my underlying joy. My fulfillment in life comes from revealing God’s glory to others and equipping them to be sources of pleasure to God. In the words of the Apostle Paul:
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
Philippians 4:11-12 (NASB)
God has blessed America. Too bad America doesn’t bless Him.